October 13, 2010 Edition

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Walnut Ridge Mayor Michelle Rogers (left) and Alderman Johnnie Fears (center) discuss the agreement Mike Henson is signing that states he wants to be connected to the city's sewer system in the spring. Approximately 35 citizens have signed agreements in order to receive city sewer services.

WR to receive sewer
extension grants

Gloria Wilkerson
Staff Writer

Citizens in the Luther Bridge, Highway 34 and Midway Road areas of Walnut Ridge will soon be able to connect to the city's sewer system. The city has received $1 million in grants to pay for the bulk of the extension, according to Mayor Michelle Rogers.

Rogers said she has received notice that the city has been approved for an $880,000 sewer line extension grant from the Natural Resources Commission and a $120,000 United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development grant. The grants total $1 million dollars, and the city will be responsible for $120,000 to complete the project.

"The residents who are to be hooked up to this sewer extension were to have city sewer when the last extension was put in, but they were left out," Rogers said. "They have expressed to me that they want to be connected to the city sewer and now they will soon be able to."

Approximately 35 homes will be affected by the extension.

The property was annexed into the city nine years ago, and Rogers and the city council have been working on this grant for three-and-a-half years. Councilman Johnnie Fears has spearheaded the signing of the agreements which state that the resident wants the service, a requirement for receiving the grant funds.

"There will be no charge to the residents to connect to the sewer system," said Rogers. "If they choose to be connected to city services in the future instead of during this signup period, they would have to pay the fees themselves and we would be talking about several thousands of dollars per residence.

"I feel that whether you live on Main Street or on the edge of town, we all deserve the same service if there is any way we can provide them."

David Hopkins of Landmark Engineering will be the project engineer and the grant administrator will be Candy Jones of CMS Consulting. Jones will start immediately with the environmental process, and Hopkins will begin the preliminary design.

Construction of the sewer extensions is expected to take place in the spring of 2011.

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